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New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:46 am
by jscll
This last weekend, Cedar Fair decided there were too many shootings, armed robberies, and other armed violent crime at Dorney Park & Wild Water Kingdom, and decided to put a stop to it by implementing new security measures. Now, in addition to bag checks, all guests are being wanded prior to being allowed to approach the entrance turnstiles, ticket booths, season pass sales, group sales, guest services, or restrooms.

However, the management has apparently decided that all of the seasonal staff is trustworthy, and not one of them is likely to cause any workplace violence, so they apparently do not have to be wanded. (At least, not so far as I could see.)

What are other people's thoughts on this, and does anyone believe that the new security precautions will ever save even one child's life?

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:46 pm
by tlchristy
Sounds like Six Flags...

It's a deterrent for some and a kind reminder to return to the car and leave that pocket knife for others. I'm sure they will address the staff in due time and the wands will give way to walk-through metal detectors...

The placement before ticket booths and offices is the best option so I think the new 2016 attraction for Dorney will be the implementation of the walk-through metal detectors (It won't be lower priced season passes or a new coaster - last week you got a permanent local beat cops, hell they might have even suggested it)...

SF Great America does not have premium parking (I love them for this) so the perk for gold pass holders is a separate barely used security walk-through (We felt like super-stars going through last week as the general security area was packed)

Sign of the times...

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:11 pm
by Yoshi
They used to have the security wands during Haunt up until a couple of years ago.

I'm used to walking through a metal detector every time I go to Great Adventure and although I'd rather not have to wait to get through the metal detectors, if they have enough of them being used so there isn't much of a line, it won't really bother me.

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:08 am
by 002700
I am all for taking appropriate security measures but it MUST be implemented correctly!!! There was nothing efficient about entering Dorney Park on Friday, July 3, 2015. The security measures were in place (i.e. bag check/metal detector wands) and I stood in line for 2 HOURS just to get into the park! There are 4 points of entry and only 1 of them was dedicated to checking bags!! What... are you kidding me?!?! That was not thought out very well at all. Common sense dictates that most women will have a purse. Yep, purses count as a bag. A lot of kids and strollers visit the park so you have to figure there will be diaper bags and backpacks. This is also a water park so more bags like beach bags will be entering the park. Why was only one of the four entry points dedicated to checking bags? On top of that, there were only two bag checkers and 3 people working the wands in the bag check line for 1000's of guests. The bag check line consisted of 2 lines that ran down the macadam hill that later merged into one line at the park entrance which created even more chaos (more on that later).

There was exactly 1 woman between the parking lot and park entrance directing 1000's of guests and NOT ONE SINGLE park employee to stop guests from cutting in line. When I finally got to the top of the hill, I noticed that guests were cutting in line at the point where the 2 bag check lines merged. I probably stopped about 50 people myself from cutting in line in front of me. God knows how many other people cut in line at that merge point that were not stopped. No wonder it took 2 hours to get into the park!!! It should NOT be the guests responsibility to stop that type of line cutting! If nothing else than from a security stand point. When guests have to take matters into their own hands, you are setting them up for guest fighting and potential violence. If Dorney Park had implemented these security checkpoints correctly this would not have been an issue. At the very least there should have been cones set up to define the bag check line into the park entrance and multiple staff members along the line directing the crowd at multiple points to prevent line cutting and the type of chaos I (and many others) personally experienced on Friday.

Then when I finally got to the bag check area a large group of people tried to cut in line right in front of me as I entered the security checkpoint... are you kidding me?!?! The security guard watched it and then turned away!!!!! It wasn't until myself and all of the other people behind me that also waited in the same line for 2 hours started yelling at the group did the security guard decide to get involved. Unbelievable!

I will NOT be visiting Dorney Park again until they get their act together. There was nothing fun about that experience. I'll take my 2 young nephews back to Knoebels instead.

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:50 pm
by Yoshi
Wow that's horrible, on days with a lot of people visiting the park it sounds like they at least triple the amount of security lines they had with maybe 1 or 2 for guests without bags and the rest all for anyone with bags.

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:42 pm
by Hooky965
I'm sorry to hear that things got to that level this weekend. My guess is that these procedures were probably instituted hastily as a precautionary response to the elevated terror threats that have surfaced overseas (Tunisia). Couple that with the possible "inspirational" nature of the lone wolf scenario, along with the weekend in question (4th of July), and I think that this is a likely "connect the dots" scenario. While I have no way of knowing if this is going to be an implemented standing policy going forward, I would think that the holiday weekend and current events led to what you experienced.

As Yoshi noted, Haunt used to have this kind of security every night. The difference was that there were far more officers at the park during that time than were there during normal operations. That was done so a higher level of safety and security could be implemented, as haunt was a new item for the park (at the time) and they were covering their bases.

When I worked Haunt, every gate into the park was manned with a wanding crew. The overall procedure did take extra time of course, and lines during the peak entry times did extend back to the ticketing gate, but not beyond (at least not at the times that I was out there and could observe firsthand).

The policy at the time (which i won't extend beyond what was publicly known) was to check every bag/purse/etc by physically examining them, then ask guests to remove/dispose of items that were not allowed for entry. Individual spot check wanding was done according to metrics that were given prior to shift. It was a necessary inconvenience at that time, and I can say that as a security officer manning those checkpoints, I acknowledged the fact that they took extra time, but I felt better about keeping some items out of the park that didn't belong there.

OK, that was then, this is now. In the face of a potential threat, the park probably did what they felt was necessary to insure the safety of guests. This had to be implemented in a timeframe that didn't permit the addition of extra personnel who would make the process smoother and take less time. This is something that takes training to do, so it's not like they could pull people from other departments and expect them to do the job to the level that is required. While I certainly can't speculate if this is going to be a standing policy going forward, or to what level it could be implemented beyond this weekend, I honestly believe that the park will adjust in one way or another to make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible.

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:55 pm
by Dorneyman27
These new security measures are clearly not beneficial. The security staff are just going through the motions. I can't blame them though. They are short staffed and they got thousands of people waiting to go through. Somebody could easily slip through and the security wouldn't even notice. The park needs a new entrance because our current setup was good for the crowds of 20 years ago. The park could at least hire enough security and ticket staff to help the process.

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:37 pm
by Steelforceguy
No matter how effective wanding is at the gate, as long as it's enough to keep a coward with a weapon and "somthing to prove" out of the park/away from my family - I'll wait in the line thank you! (With a 3 & 6 year old)

Anytime an incident happens in a park that maybe could have been prevented it'll be all the same people complaining now calling out "corporate greed" over public safety.

At least the park is trying and while there are flaws, I expect them to work to resolve them in the coming weeks.

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:31 am
by Yoshi
On Monday they were back to using the old system of just checking bags and not using the metal detector wands.

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:53 pm
by dorneydude
A co worker told me they tried to go On 7/3..they left after 45 minutes...I thought he was kidding! Knowing this is true I'd have demnded my parking $ back...did they warn you there was a 2 hour wait when they collected the $$$$.

I am not sure what to take away from this...bigger crowds on holidays so more stringent measures?...does that mean the criminals should go on other days? I bet a lot of those folks won't be coming back. There has to be a more efficent way...then again that likely will cost money and it does not seem CF is into doing that for Dorney...not shy about raising prices though...

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:15 pm
by Hooky965
Ramping down the procedure now tells me that it was a response to a specific potential threat on the 4th (weekend). Although it can be implemented again at any time as needed, I think that if it were viewed as being an ongoing thing, the park would respond accordingly by increasing staff. 2-hour entry queues are nothing to be taken lightly as guest experience goes.

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 6:12 pm
by jscll
I just want to clarify, the main reason I have such a dislike to heavy security at amusement park entrances is because they give many people a false sense of security. The perimeter fence of the guest area of Dorney Park, for example, is about twelve thousand feet long (well over two miles). Not to mention someone could do a hand to hand transfer of contraband through the maintenance/emergency vehicle access between the waterpark and entrance the dropoff/bus lot entrance (the guard there is plenty busy with traffic).

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:48 am
by Hooky965
Understood, however I think that there are a couple of things worth mentioning. First, the nature of the current threat is based around the "lone wolf" scenario...this is not to say that a perp can't try to recruit additional help (either knowingly or unknowingly), but a single actor seems to be the basis for much of the concern now.

Second, I think that it's worth mentioning that park security operates on different levels. There is an obvious element, as well as one that isn't as obvious.

Worth noting that the overall challenge of absolute 100% perimeter security of an amusement park 24/7 is not something that I feel is realistically attainable, however I think that this is the same case with higher profile targets like government buildings or even airports. In all cases, a threat potential is met with what is deemed as an appropriate response.

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:27 pm
by Yoshi
They were using the metal detector wands again today.

Re: New security measures, beneficial or not?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:26 pm
by coasterluver
They change their mind everyday as to whether they want to wand or not.